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Business backing Youth Contract – Cllr Stuart Bray

January 16, 2012 2:16 PM

Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed news that business leaders have backed the £1bn Youth Contract, announced by Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg in November. The Youth Contract aims to ensure that all jobless young people are earning or learning again before long-term damage is done.

In Hinckley and Bosworth 585 18 to 24-year-olds are currently in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance and would stand to benefit from the Youth Contract.

Britain's four biggest employer organisations, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), have formally backed the Youth Contract and will also urge their members to back the initiative.

Starting next April, the Youth Contract will provide at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24 year olds into work over the next three years. This includes 160,000 wage subsidies and 250,000 new work experience placements.

A new programme to will help 16 and 17 year olds who are not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

This will help the most disengaged of the 10,000 NEETS in the East Midlands get back to school or college, onto an apprenticeship or into a job with training.

In addition, there will be at least 20,000 more incentive payments to encourage employers to take on young apprentices in England.

Commenting, leader of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council Lib Dem Cllr Stuart Bray said:

"Youth unemployment is an economic waste and a slow-burn social disaster. If young people are out of work, the consequences of that will be felt for decades afterwards. We need to ensure young people do not have a false start.

"That is why it is excellent news that Britain 's four biggest employer organisations are backing the scheme. I look forward to working with local employers to make sure the Youth Contract is a success so that we won't lose the skills and talent of our young people - right when we need them most.

"As a Liberal Democrat, I am proud that the Coalition Government is working with business to do the right thing to prevent another lost generation.

"Add to this the positive news about Apprenticeships locally which more than doubled from 390 in 2009/10 to 1,050 in 2010/11. This was the second biggest increase in England."

Commenting further, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

"Supporting people into work is my priority for 2012 and helping young people get proper lasting jobs is especially important.

"The Youth Contract will make sure every unemployed young person starts earning or learning again before long term damage is done.

"But government can't do this alone, we need businesses to play their part too. That's why the support of the Confederation of British

Industry, British Chambers of Commerce, British Retail Consortium and Federation of Small Businesses is such good news."